What is Vegan Leather Made Of? Sustainable Material Choices

Vegan leather is not made from animals and can be eco-friendly.

There is something exquisite and classy about leather clothing and accessories. Even with the simplest designs, leather items always stand out and look elegant when compared to other materials. For this reason, both men and women across the globe love incorporating leather items into their accessories and wardrobe. However, the downside of using “real” leather materials is that they are harvested from animals. This is why there has been a rise in shifting from animal leather to vegan leather to ensure that animals are not harmed to create beautiful pieces. 

What’s great about vegan leather is that it is not made from animals and can also be eco-friendly when made with good materials. So, what’s vegan leather made of? If you are wondering what the materials used to make leather materials that are turned into clothes and accessories, this article will look into this topic and look at some of the best vegan leather items in the market today. 

What are the Materials Used in Vegan Leather? 

Vegan leather, also called “synthetic leather” or “faux leather” can be made from different materials such as polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, recyclable materials, and even agricultural waste. It is a great alternative to real leather since it can be made to look just like real leather from animal skin, while also using materials that can be recycled. 

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is considered the earliest form of faux leather which was used as early as the 1920s. Polyvinyl chloride is a type of plastic that has a texture and appearance that is very similar to leather when mixed with other chemicals. Compared to real leather which cannot be easily acquired, PVC leather is relatively cheap but will still provide the desired leather appearance that is much sought after in leather items. Due to it being easily manufactured and cheaper cost, leather made from PVC has been a staple in the market for many decades. However, in more recent years, PVC is no longer the preferred material for making leather due to the chemicals used that are harmful to the health and environment. 

Polyurethane (PU)

Due to the rise in environmental concerns over the use of PVC, manufacturers searched for other alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. With this, Polyurethane became the top choice as the material used for vegan leather since it is more eco-friendly but still looks like genuine leather.    

Vegan Leather is durable, sustainable, and much more cost-effective compared to real leather,

Sustainable Materials 

With the goal of creating alternative leather materials that do not make use of animal hides, plastics, and harsh chemicals, there has been a rise in the search for sustainable raw materials that can be used as alternative leather. Some of the 

  1. Cork- One of the well-known alternatives is vegan leather made from the bark of oak trees. Since corks are durable and lightweight, this material has been a favorite by manufacturers and consumers alike. Furthermore, cork leather is also hypoallergenic, flame-resistant, and waterproof. Harvesting cork material is also sustainable since it can be harvested from corkwood trees without the need to cut down the whole tree. 
  2. Pineapple Plant- Making use of pineapple leaves, “Piñatex” originated from the Philippines. This type of alternative leather is found to be very sustainable since it uses pineapple leaves that are often discarded after harvesting the pineapple fruit. Since Piñatex is just a by-product of the pineapple farming industry in the Philippines, not only is this type of vegan leather sustainable but it also creates a secondary income for farmers. 
  3. Mushroom- Made from the roots of the mushroom plant or “mycelium”. Leather made from mushrooms is found to be durable and waterproof, in addition to mushrooms being easier to grow and harvest. As such, this type of leather is found to be one of the most sustainable since it is also 100% biodegradable. 
  4. Other raw materials: Some other sustainable raw materials that are being used to make vegan leather are leaves, cactus skin, and kombucha. 


Top Vegan Leather Items

Since vegan leather looks and feels very similar to animal leather, there has been a wide array of clothing and accessories that are available in the market nowadays. Since they are durable, sustainable, and much more cost-effective compared to real leather, vegan leather is enjoyed worldwide.

Leather jackets 

Leather jackets made from vegan leather look just like animal skin leather. Depending on the manufacturer, vegan leather jackets can look classy or edgy. What’s great about vegan leather jackets is that they are easier to keep and maintain, while still offering durability and longevity. 

Pen Pouches

One of the favorite accessories used by people in the office are vegan leather pen pouches just like the YSTUDIO Classic Reflect-1 Pen Pouch to protect their valuable pens. This pen pouch offers a classy and timeless look while also being very durable, eco-friendly, and water-resistant. Pen pouches are also very light and compact, making them easy to carry around.   


Belts made from vegan leather are often the top choice in wardrobe since they are very flexible while still durable. Since vegan leather can be made into different colors and designs, both men and women love having a vegan leather belt as a staple in their wardrobe. 

Wallets and Pouches

Vegan leather wallets and pouches come in various shapes and sizes. Aside from leather bags, wallets and pouches are very stylish and can fit any occasion. They come in various designs, ranging from classy to eccentric, making them one of the must-have items to have. 

If you are looking for accessories and items for your wardrobe but having second thoughts on the sustainability of leather, consider vegan leather. Not only do they look and feel like real leather, but you won’t have to spend too much to look classy. 

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